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We've made it - a decade of music collaboration

We've made it - a decade of music collaboration

[i]A small studio, somewhere in germany.
A guy – Dick - in front of a computer, a Teddybear behind a drumset. Espresso cups everywhere. Cables. Stuff.
The guy with the beard & cap looks at the baer, they share a mutual nodd,
then another click with the mouse and the computers webcam starts recording.[/i]

Take One:

Dick facing the camera:
„Dear friends of wikiloops!
Some still believe it is a repeated attempt to fool our members on april 1st,
but it really is true: that's our annual wiki-versary, and today is the ...“
[drummroll by MrBaer]
[splash-stand falls over and causes ugly noise, baer looks puzzled]
„ ...versary – thanks for the punkrock, MrBaer.“
Dick glares at Baer and stops the recording...

It didn't work.
Mom came and brought the wikiloops birthday cake during take two (thanks mom!),
the wife called for dinner on the phone during take 3 (anyone remember track #11869 ?),
and as midnight approached,
Dick and Mr.Baer kinda agreed to give up on any fancy video.

How would any three minute video capture the meaning of a decade of online jamming?

It won't, and neither will this blog post really do justice to this event, but „someone has to do it“, right?

That being said, let me just share some of my thoughts on this night before the 10th wikiloops anniversary.



I do remember the situation ten years ago, me being in some different place and making the final on-server changes at midnight, switching the initial wikiloops version live to the internet (I'll switch this blog post live in a similar way later tonight...).

It did feel somehow remarkable, being the final step after some months of coding and preparations, but at the same time a new website like that starts with 5-10 visitors a day - if you have sent the link to all of your friends, that is.
So, i guess the „kickoff“ was more of a slow „let's see what will happen“ experience then most would imagine,
and I remember discussing whether one thousand tracks on wikiloops was a somewhat realistic perspective – it didn't really look like that at that time, and at the day of launching,
we had no more than 200 pre-recorded tracks by MrBaer & myself to offer.

I believe one of the earliest turning points on wikiloops was the appearance of a certain guy whom we know as Mr.Dafunkydrummer.
This guy registered as member number 90-something, and contributed a certain track, namely the legendary track #816, which truly holds the record for remixes ever since.
If you notice the bad mp3 encoding quality: That's not Klaus fault, 128k mp3 encoding was the desired format back then, simply because the web was slower in 2011 – that's how old this place gets tonight.
It is nothing but the truth if I tell you that the number of new members on wikiloops started growing from that upload on... thanks to those who shared such appealing tracks, you know who you are, and it was you who made wikiloops what it is, long before anyone knew whether this would last.

As I sit and go over my memories, I notice that my memories are mostly tied to people that I „met“ on wikiloops.
People who shared ideas, people who showed & shared their amazing talent, people who put in voluntary hours improving wikiloops, people I got to meet in person, and tales of people who have traveled around the globe meeting other wikiloops members.
wikiloops has connected me to all of these people, and I am truly thankful for that experience.
wikiloops has given me a decade of being connected to interesting and creative people from all over the globe, that is something very valuable to me – and I do hope it is an experience those of you who have been around for some time can relate to.
So, a decade of wikiloops is about being connected to people. Interesting, creative (and possibly slightly crazy) people.

But isn't a decade of wikiloops about music?

I've dared to listen to some of the stuff I contributed to wikiloops during the past decade, and somehow it is like my personal soundtrack of the past ten years, full of captured moments.
Most of what I contributed isn't anywhere near great music.
But it is my music, and to me it is like a musical diary.
I recall the situations I recorded in, and re-discover lyrics I once quickly came up with... and there are gaps between uploads which reasons I recall, and there are my comebacks to wikiloops.
Again, there are the people I collaborated with, and sometimes I feel I can hear some slight improvement in my musical skills, too.
I hope this is the experience that many of you share, and tonight I feel we can admit that a decade of wikiloops is possibly more about the music each one of us came up with, and what it meant to us then about curating the very best ever song of the decade on wikiloops.
We've gone thru the first decade without one single musical contest or competition, and I still believe that is one of the most crucial ingredients to wikiloops.

A decade online. Some server responded. Almost always...

Ten years online in one of the most rapidly changing fields of technology must be mentioned here, even tho that part of wikiloops has been probably my own lonely experience.
Looking back, I guess there were less then seven days of offline time, and never more than to consecutive days of downtime. The project kept growing and moving to larger servers over the years, with me sometimes sweating quite heavily to keep control of things. After no less than 13 major updates to the wikiloops platform I feel my professional transition from social worker to programmer is pretty much complete – and I'd like to thank & mention the similarly collaborative people who share coding knowledge online, there wouldn't be a reason to party tonight without the countless people out there who also believe in voluntary collaboration, but play php or javascript code instead of bass or drums.

A decade post promising startup. Money talk.

It's true, thinking about the first decade, the funds topic was something that came up quite regularly on my blog posts.
What started with a vision of being completely donation-funded and free for anyone had to be transformed into the „freemium“ concept wikiloops goes with today. That was one of the darkest moments for me, but looking back there really is nothing much to regret.
I wouldn't be writing this post at all if we had shut down the servers instead of changing the funding concept and offering premium memberships, and I'd state that the change has given wikiloops the desired independence. The project covers its server and maintenance cost from its own community, no need to collect and sell user data or allow 3rd-party banner ads who also serve as sneaky data collection means. Thanks to those who support wikiloops financially, look, we've turned your dollar into a decade of music collaboration :)

Let me end by congratulating wikiloops and all who are and have been part of it, and
feel free to share your memories, comments or thoughts with us.

All the best & happy jamming on wikiloops!

Richard Kaiser

wikiloops headquarters in flowsdorf, germany

wikiloops stats of the day:
168,861 tracks online
60,964 members
393 supporting members
Dear Richard, in the days of everything, especially in the online world changing faster and faster it is all the more impressive that you managed to keep this exotic flower growing and thriving. And yes, you had to change the funding structure, but without adaptation it would not have survived. So 10 years, wow!! The joy and fun it has brought to thousands of mainly hobby musicians all over the world, if you could put it in mudbricks Wikiloops would have been visible from space! On a personal note, my neighbours would probably have preferred that I never found it and my dear wife still hates my music even more than before :). I have also met some remarkable people through Wikiloops, and made some real life friends! So thank you and thank you <3 +13
A wonderful happy birthday to wikiloops and the community ! Who would have thought this crazy marvelous and somewhat bold idea would develop into this amazing project ?? It takes crazy people to carry crazy projects ;) Thanks for the years of entertainment and inspiration : it is priceless !! +12
Congratulations Richard. I believe that WL is nevertheless the fruit of your work and your pugnacity throughout these 10 years. Admittedly, the teamwork also between WL and the donor members without which nothing would have been possible, but the captain at the helm (and his second Bear) stayed the course!
So well done to you, and well done to the members!
Happy birthday Wikiloops :)
A great idea and personal effort by Dick that has changed the lives of many musicians !!! My sincere congratulations !!! <3 +11
:W:W 🍾✨
Happy birthday WL!
Really happy to be part of this great musical adventure and and as we can hear in a Zappa track, "you're GReAaAt, man !"
Special thoughts to MrBaer too ! :)
Happy anniversary da 'loops :) <3 And here's to the next ten years :) Thanks everyone, and especially to Richard & MrBaer :) 🎉🥳🍾🎊🎁🎈 +10
Happy Birthday Wikiloops!
Thanks to every one who made this a wonderful place to be and enjoy and make music. :Y:W<3
Awesome congratulations and thank you for all of your hard work to make this site a reality. It's the best :) +10
We cannot be other than eternally grateful for this wonderful world!!! In a hostile world wide web you managed to create a gentle space where we can make music together! And that is a true miracle Richard! <3<3:) +10
Happy Birthday Richard. I was able to find Wikiloops by chance in autumn 2011. After 15 years I was back at the beginning and learned to make music again with my new guitar. I bought a loop pedal. I could also save loops. I came across wikiloops and made an account and downloaded it. Especially only bass and drum loops for blues and funk. I was only able to take part in the first online jam in 2017. Because there was no recording equipment yet, it was impossible to record directly on a single track with a Zoom H2n. Then a little later with a notebook and Cubase 3 free software. I want to be learned this. After my experience with the first jam, I couldn't believe that there was a friendly greeting and nice words. And met great musicians, it's really great to jam online. This also piqued my interest in audio mastering. Happy Birthday Richard and your Wikiloops team.

Big regards Charli56<3:W;)
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Music's a universal language: of love, rage, sadness, & divine bliss. Each member of WL's speaks these w/their instruments! A global musical family!
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